Boeing won a $17.3 million contract modification for the US and United Kingdom to provide Strategic Weapon System Trident II (D5) Inertial Navigation equipment technical engineering support services. The Trident II D5 fleet ballistic missile (FBM) is a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile. In September 2021 the US Navy test-fired two unarmed Trident II missiles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, dubbing the launches a successful test of the operational readiness of the weapons system. Work will take place in California, Ohio, Washington, New York, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Scotland. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2022.
Boeing won a $15.3 million contract, which provides systems engineering, technical, logistics support and retrofit of the Miniaturized Airborne Global Positioning System Receiver 2000 for integration onto the V-22 Osprey aircraft. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft. Work will take place in Pennsylvania and Texas. Estimated completion will be in November 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The Moroccans have started their flight training to operate the AH-64. The training is taking place in Utah with the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment. The unit says Cpt. Harbouli and Cpt. Ezhari are to first two Moroccans to undergo training in the simulator.
Lockheed Martin has won a $21 million contract to customize four MH-60R helicopters ordered by the Hellenic Navy from standard export configuration. The order provides non-recurring engineering and field service representative support in support of configuration efforts for four MH-60R aircraft from standard Foreign Military Sales (FMS) configuration to the government of Greece configuration. Work will take place in New York, Greece and Connecticut. Estimated completion will be in September 2027.
China has revealed a range of weapons it has developed for stealth fighters at the ongoing Airshow China event in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province. According to the Global Times, a scale model of the country’s second stealth fighter jet, the FC-31, was displayed together with armament including the powerful PL-15E beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile which is also used by China’s first stealthy jet, the J-20. The PL-15E is announced to be available for export for the first time. It is an air-to-air missile with a maximum range of 145km guided with a combination of inertial, satellite navigation, datalink and active radar.
Boeing won a $220 million contract, which provides non-recurring engineering in support of configuration efforts for the Harpoon Coastal Defense System (HCDS), to include the Harpoon Block II Update Grade B Canister Launch All Up Round Missiles, the HCDS launch system, and Harpoon weapon station test and production equipment for the government of Taiwan. Work will take place in Texas, South Dakota, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Alabama. Estimated completion will be in July 2023.
Watch: Is Boeing AH-64 Apache The Ultimate Weapon?| The Ultimates: Combat Helicopters | Spark
Boeing won a $3.5 billion deal for the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Program. The contract will provide support and sustainment services to the government product support manager/product support integrator for the C-17 weapon system. The contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, NATO Airlift Management Program Office, India, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Support includes: program management; sustaining logistics; material and equipment management; sustaining engineering; quality assurance; depot level aircraft maintenance and modifications; F117 propulsion system management; long-term sustainment planning; field services, unique foreign military customer services and Air Logistics Center partnering support for the worldwide fleet of the C-17 aircraft. Estimated completion date is May 30, 2031.
Boeing won a $9.3 million contract modification for F-15C and F-15E mission training centers (MTC). The modification provides for updates to the F-15 MTC training systems to achieve service objectives associated with implementation of F-15C/E Aircraft Mission Package-20. Work will take place in Idaho, North Carolina, the UK and Japan.
Middle East & Africa
Iraq is planning to acquire a dozen JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan and has reportedly set aside $600 million for the procurement, as per local media reports. Unconfirmed reports claimed that a delegation from Iraq’s Ministry of Defense recently visited Pakistan, while a formal agreement is expected to be signed in the country’s federal capital in October. The deal was reportedly made during the visit of Deputy Commander of Iraqi Air Force Major General (Pilot) Muhammad Majeed Mahdi Mahmood’s to Pakistan.
Boeing won a $756.6 million contract modification, which exercises an option for the production and delivery of five Lot 12 P-8A aircraft for the government of Germany. Work will take place in Washington, California and other locations within the US. Estimated completion will be in February 2025. In July 2021, Berlin signed a letter of offer and acceptance for five Boeing P-8As under the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.
France’s Naval Group is likely to bag a contract valued approximately €5 billion to provide FDI (Belharra) frigates and Gowind corvettes to the Hellenic Navy. According to La Tribune, the deal will include delivery of three each of FDI and Gowind warships with an option for one more.
A new version of the Akash Missile – ‘Akash Prime’ developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been flight tested from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha on September 27. The missile intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking enemy aircrafts, in its maiden flight test after improvements.
Watch: US P-8A Poseidon Aircraft Conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise
Latest updates[?]: Boeing won a $3.5 billion deal for the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Program. The contract will provide support and sustainment services to the government product support manager/product support integrator for the C-17 weapon system. The contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, NATO Airlift Management Program Office, India, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Support includes: program management; sustaining logistics; material and equipment management; sustaining engineering; quality assurance; depot level aircraft maintenance and modifications; F117 propulsion system management; long-term sustainment planning; field services, unique foreign military customer services and Air Logistics Center partnering support for the worldwide fleet of the C-17 aircraft. Estimated completion date is May 30, 2031.
The C-17 has had more money-driven last hurrahs than The Who. Even so, FY 2010 featured the USAF’s last planned orders of C-17 Globemaster III short field, heavy-lift transport jets.
The Pentagon had been trying to end the program for years, but 3 factors led Congress to keep adding new C-17s to the budget, year after year: (1) deep doubts about the premises, pre-9/11 vintage, and quality of the Pentagon’s mobility studies; (2) uncertainty concerning the C-5 Galaxy super-heavy transport’s upgrade programs; and (3) a fleet wear tempo much higher than originally forecast, driven by constant requests from theater for C-17s.
All things end, and there were no new C-17s bought in the FY 2011 or FY 2012 budgets. That would leave the USA with a total ordered fleet of 223, once they’re all under contract. At long last, they are.
Latest updates[?]: Iraq is planning to acquire a dozen JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan and has reportedly set aside $600 million for the procurement, as per local media reports. Unconfirmed reports claimed that a delegation from Iraq’s Ministry of Defense recently visited Pakistan, while a formal agreement is expected to be signed in the country’s federal capital in October. The deal was reportedly made during the visit of Deputy Commander of Iraqi Air Force Major General (Pilot) Muhammad Majeed Mahdi Mahmood’s to Pakistan.
FC-1/ JF-17, armed
The FC-1/ JF-17 Thunder is a joint Chinese-Pakistani project that aimed to reduce Pakistan’s dependence on western firms for advanced fighters, by fielding a low-cost multi-role lightweight fighter that can host modern electronics and precision-guided weapons. It isn’t a top-tier competitor, but it represents a clear step up from Pakistan’s Chinese MiG-19/21 derivatives and French Mirage III/V fighters. This positioning addresses a budget-conscious, “good enough” performance market segment that the West once dominated, but has nearly abandoned in recent decades.
Pakistan has fielded JF-17s in squadron strength, with more on order and a Block II R&D program nearing completion. India’s competing Tejas fighter is overcoming project delays by looking to foreign component sources, but Pakistan and China remain out front with their offering, even though they began their project much later than India did. Pakistan and China have even set up a joint JF-17 marketing agency to promote export sales, which hasn’t paid off as quickly as they had hoped, but it would be unwise to count them out just yet…
Boeing won a $16 million deal for spare parts in support of the AH-64 Apache weapon system. The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter. The Apache attack helicopter can be equipped with air-to-air missiles (Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral and Sidearm) and the advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS), formerly known as Hydra, family of guided and unguided 70mm rockets.
Boeing won a $158.3 million contract modification for VC-25B Spares Phase 1 – Long Lead Parts. This contract modification is for the VC-25B initial spares with a production lead time of greater than 12 months that are required for the initial support period, which is the first 18 months beginning at initial operational capability. VC-25B, the next “Air Force One,” is a program to design, modify, test, and deliver two aircraft replacing the current VC-25A and will serve as a flying White House for the next thirty years. Work will take place in Maryland. Estimated completion date is January 15, 2025.
Middle East & Africa
According to some press reports, Morocco is set to be the newest operator of the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW). The reports further added that the weapons have been delivered to the country.
The US Air Force has awarded Rolls-Royce a $2.6 billion contract to replace the engines on its B-52H Stratofortress bomber fleet. The F130 engine for the B-52, which produces 17,000 pounds of thrust, is a variant of the Rolls-Royce BR725 commercial engine.
Russian company Rostec-owned Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering has begun mass production of unified systems designed to protect latest military equipment against high-precision weapons. The product is designed to protect the TOS-2 heavy flamethrower system, the PRP-5 reconnaissance vehicle, as well as the Zavet-D automated artillery control systems, the state-owned company said in a statement.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Persero) (PTDI) and Turkish company Hava Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.?. (HAVELSAN) agreed to jointly develop a simulator for N219 aircraft. A Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to the same was signed during Teknofest 2021 in Istanbul by the President Director of PTDI, Dr. Ir. Elfien Goentoro, MBA and CEO of HAVELSAN, Dr. Mehmet Active Nacar.
Watch: The Next Presidential Jet: The New $5B “Biden Force One”
Latest updates[?]: Boeing won a $158.3 million contract modification for VC-25B Spares Phase 1 – Long Lead Parts. This contract modification is for the VC-25B initial spares with a production lead time of greater than 12 months that are required for the initial support period, which is the first 18 months beginning at initial operational capability. VC-25B, the next “Air Force One,” is a program to design, modify, test, and deliver two aircraft replacing the current VC-25A and will serve as a flying White House for the next thirty years. Work will take place in Maryland. Estimated completion date is January 15, 2025.
Air Force One
The USA’s fleet of 2 “VC-25” 747-200 derivatives is unique in several respects. It’s more popularly known as the latest incarnation of the “Air Force One” fleet that transports the President of the United States around the world, though the planes themselves only acquire the “Air Force One” call sign when the President is on board. The VC-25 can also serve as a secondary command post, thanks to a suite of advanced communications and electronics gear that’s both highly encrypted, and protected from the Electro-Magnetic Pulse effects of nuclear detonations. The 89th Airlift Wing operates them from Andrews AFB, MD.
During the Cold War, if humanity’s time on earth had been cut short, at least one of the orders would almost certainly have come from a 707-based “VC-137” predecessor. The 747-based VC-25s were ordered in 1985, and added to the fleet in 1990, where they continue to serve in the same roles, flying an average of nearly 200,000 miles per year. Of course, maintenance and upgrades are still required, such as the 2002/2003 upgrades that let the President address the nation from on board, new defensive systems, etc…
Lockheed Martin won a $14.8 million contract modification, which is adding scope to provide depot level repair capabilities for the F-35 gun system in support of F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot 11 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and non-US Department of Defense (DOD) participants. F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) is a stealthy, supersonic multirole fighter developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and programme partners from the NATO and US allies. Work will take place in Varmint, Texas and Maine. Expected completion will be in November 2024.
AAR Services won a $14.2 million deal for maintenance and overhaul of the CH-47. The Chinook CH-47F is an advanced multi-mission helicopter manufactured by American aerospace and defense firm Boeing for the US Army and international defense forces. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September 23, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish engine producer Erin Motor on Thursday introduced a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) while drone-maker Baykar launched a Vertical take-off drone at the Teknofest event in Istanbul. The company showcased two types of UAV engines, 6-hp and 11-hp, which can be used in vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs with wingspans of up to five meters (16.4 feet) for a wide range of drones and related payloads.
Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace has cut the first steel for the first of the Royal Navy’s five new Type 31 frigates, HMS Venturer. Hosted at Babcock’s facility in Rosyth, Scotland, where the Type 31 Inspiration class ships are being built, representatives from across UK and international industry and public service, witnessed the historic ceremony signalling the official start of the build programme alongside employees and representatives from the local community.
The Republic of China Army (ROCA) Aviation and Special Forces Command announced officially on September 25 that the plan to deploy AH-64Es at Taitung’s Fengnian airport has been abandoned. This is due to opposition from the local populace over noise issues. The residents were also concern over the safety of the rotor craft. The Army wants its AH-64E pilots to familiarize themselves with the terrain on the east side of the island. By stationing at Fengnian, the helicopters can be serviced there.
Indian Ministry of Defense signed a contract with Airbus Defense and Space, Spain for acquisition of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft on September 24, 2021. The MoD has also signed an Offset Contract with Airbus through which the company will discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian Offset Partners. These contracts were signed following the approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Security earlier this month.
Watch: UK’s First Type 31 frigate, first steel cut for HMS Venturer the royal navy’s newest warship
Oshkosh Defense won a $10 million contract modification for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Family of Vehicles. The JLTV Family of Vehicles (FoV) is the Marine Corps and Army partial replacement for the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fleet. Work will take place in Wisconsin. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2022.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space has introduced a lightweight, affordable AESA radar in its lightest form factor ever. In addition to being a third of the weight of most modern AESA radars, the new compact radar also costs about half as much as typical fire control radars. Gallium Nitride technology is combined with an innovative packaging of its digital receiver/exciter and processor called CHIRP, and a unique air-cooled design.
Middle East & Africa
IMCO Group acquired Innocon Ltd., a company that manufactures Micro, Mini and Tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as well as mission systems for manned light airplanes. IMCO Group’s subsidiary acquired Innocon’s assets and activities for $938,000, plus an additional amount equal to 25% of the subsidiary’s net profit during 72 months from January 1, 2022, and up to a total and cumulative ceiling of $547,000.
Turkey reportedly handed over first units of Bayraktar TB2 combat drones to Morocco last week. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (Far-Maroc) signed an agreement with Turkish drone maker Baykar Savunma for 13 Bayraktar TB2s in April. The contract was worth $70 million.
Norwegian mechanical engineering company Ritek has agreed to perform vehicle integration of Ground Master 200 multi-mission compact radars (GM200 MM/C) under an agreement signed with Thales. The Norwegian Defense Material Agency (NDMA) signed an agreement with the Netherlands Defense Material Organisation (DMO) for the five counter-battery radars in May 2021. Ritek will perform the vehicle integration of these radars, Thales said in a statement today.
General Dynamics Land Systems won a $13.8 million contract modification for Abrams systems and technical support. The first M1 Abrams battle tanks were delivered to the US Army in 1980. The M1 is equipped with a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine. The Allison X-1100-3B transmission provides four forward and two reverse gears. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 other procurement, Army funds; fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Australia) funds; and fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $13,743,076 were obligated at the time of the award. Work will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2022.
In an age of non-linear warfare, where front lines are nebulous at best and non-existent at worst, one of the biggest casualties is… the concept of unprotected rear echelon vehicles, designed with the idea that they’d never see serious combat. That imperative is being driven home on 2 fronts. One front is operational. The other front is buying trends.
These trends, and their design imperatives, found their way into the USA’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which aims to replace many of the US military’s 120,000 or so Humvees. The US military’s goal is a 7-10 ton vehicle that’s lighter than its MRAPs and easier to transport aboard ship, while offering substantially better protection ad durability than existing up-armored Humvees. They’d also like a vehicle that can address front-line issues like power generation, in order to recharge all of the batteries troops require for electronic gadgets like night sights, GPS devices, etc.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. JLTV certainly qualifies, and recent budget planning endorsements have solidifed a future that was looking shaky. Now, can the Army’s program deliver?
Latest updates[?]: Raytheon Intelligence & Space has introduced a lightweight, affordable AESA radar in its lightest form factor ever. In addition to being a third of the weight of most modern AESA radars, the new compact radar also costs about half as much as typical fire control radars. Gallium Nitride technology is combined with an innovative packaging of its digital receiver/exciter and processor called CHIRP, and a unique air-cooled design.
AN/APG-79 AESA Radar
The AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar began life as a replacement. Initial F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet production batches installed Raytheon’s all-weather, multimode AN/APG-73, but the APG-79 has intrinsic technical features that offered revolutionary increases in capability, reliability, image resolution, and range.
Unlike the APG-73 that equipped the first Super Hornets, the APG-79’s AESA array is composed of numerous solid-state transmit and receive modules that are fixed in place, eliminating a common cause of breakdowns. To move their beams, they rely on electronic changes in each module’s transmissions, creating useful interference patterns in order to aim, focus and shape their output. Other system components include an advanced receiver/exciter, ruggedized commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) processor, and power supplies. With its open systems architecture and compact COTS parts, it changes what both aircrews and maintenance staff can do with a fighter radar – and does so in a smaller, lighter package.